Aragon dTech Season 2 Proposal Discussion

Purpose: S2/S3 Financial Proposal
Status: Proposal Discussion v1.0-1.1
Authors: @brent @alibama @SpectraCryptoVerse @Carla78 @barukimang
Reviewers: @lee0007 @ramon @Shawncubbedge @Anthony.Leuts @Ricktik6 @fartunov @AlexClay
Final Version: Financial Proposal: Aragon dTech Season 2

Proposal Summary:

A proposal to secure $363,000 funding for the Aragon dTech team for the next 8 months of operation for Technical Support of all Aragon products via Discord, technical forum, and help tickets, creation and maintenance of documentation including video documentation, management of a Bug Bounty program, quality assurance testing, maintenance of existing Aragon codeset, and outreach for 3rd party integration with Aragon products.

Proposal description:

The Aragon dTech team will focus on the following initiatives:

  • Continue technical support services via Hub Spot, Discord, and forum.
  • Technical forum management, moderation and response to community questions.
  • The creation of MAS (Maintenance as a service) within dTech which will pilot an initiative to support Aragon product software, assist with bug resolution, keep code libraries up to date, and monitor industry changes that effect current products. This pilot will meet regularly with the product team and share the same source of information (Jira) for transparency.
  • Collaborate with the development community to become involved in the technical aspects of Aragon products/add-ons and provide feedback to the product team who can weigh risks and viability of partnerships. This includes collaborating with 3rd party organizations such as Dework, Otoco, WallId, Raincards, and Blossom labs.
  • Enable Spanish support and assist community and growth teams on Latin American focuses when those needs arise. This process will serve as a template for additional languages assuming additional languages are deemed viable to Aragon. Currently, three members of dTech speak fluent Spanish.
  • Continue management of the current Aragon user documentation and continue working with the development team for the expansion of documentation in Stoplight for new products. In addition dTech, will continue with Miragon 3S (the DAO education series).
  • Liaising with other guilds within Aragon to execute technical aspects for Web3 tool research, decentralized experiments, process research and testing. This includes helping with products such as Dework, gnosis safe, and other 3rd party tools which the team has knowledge of or the ability to research.
  • Product testing and quality assurance of new products prior to release. Test user stories set forth by product team, ensure UI/UX usability, find and report possible risks back to product and development teams.
  • Continue bug documentation and management of a bug bounty program if such program is approved by the DAO. A proposal is currently being developed by dTech for this initiative.
  • Creating and reporting over technical bounties assessing appropriate compensation and timelines while ensuring bounties are within the scope of dTech. Bounties help grow the community and give the guild resiliency.
    • Bounties may be given to contributing members for the following focuses
      • Assist with English support questions to further reduce response time.
      • Testing and research of current and future versions of Aragon’s products and integrations.
      • Multilingual support in discord and Hub Spot.
      • Assistance with MAS with help from the community if needed.
  • Set a standard template and protocol, using automation where possible, for monthly reporting on dTech proposals.

Proposal Rationale (How this initiative is adding value to the Aragon Network):

Technical engagement with the community, technical support, and product integration enables organizations to use Aragon products which they otherwise would struggle to comprehend and deploy. A core team dedicated to the support and expansion of existing and future products ensures Aragon’s footprint in the decentralized governance space. Without these technical support services, users will have a high barrier to entry setting up a DAO with Aragon’s products.

Furthermore, dTech will ensure that viable web3 products consider possible integration with Aragon and that the current Aragon codeset stays up to date.

Limitations and risks:

  • Team members leave who are focusing on an important dTech initiative.
    • Other team members who shadow can fill in those responsibilities until a replacement is found.
  • We start Spanish support and no Spanish comes in being a waste of recourses.
    • Any Spanish support role will be required to also provide English support removing the need for adding additional resources.
  • Senior level tasks are presented to MAS (Maintenance as a service).
    • The team will collaborate with the development team for a resolution passing the task to them if requested, use bounty money and network with the community to help find a resolution.
  • A bug bounty program does not get approved by the AN DAO in the future
    • dTech will work with other guilds to define how to proceed with bug discovery beyond reporting via help tickets and discord.

Duration and Deliverables:

  • Project duration is 8 months however, if delegate voting is in place by the 4th month, an additional 4 months will be contingent on delegate votes.
  • Each month the guild will publish a report detailing the achievements accomplished over that month in the forum which identifies the status of each deliverable.
  • Success will be defined by the minimum criteria:
    1. Average support tickets replied to within 16 hours and resolved within 24 hours. Additional metrics of support will be included in the monthly report.
    2. Support setup for Spanish (Discord and Help tickets) and results communicated to community and growth teams. Results shall be used to consider French language support.
    3. Will report status of third party integration initiatives by adding engaged organizations to the CRM, report the number of engaged third parties in monthly reports and their status and collaborate with product team on possible projects as a result of these 3rd Party initiatives.
    4. MAS, Maintenance as a Service, will use Jira for all issues and collaborate with the development team with status calls every two weeks. Monthly reports will contain a status report of issues that have been resolved and which are currently in progress.
    5. Open dTech strategy calls will continue to be available twice a week for anyone to join and participate in the evolution of dTech’s activities.
    6. Miragon 3s will complete a minimum of 1-2 videos per month with a total of a minimum of 10 over the proposal timeframe. dTech will report total number of views for each of these videos monthly.
    7. Complete full product testing of new Aragon products delivered to dTech within a minimum of 45 days.
    8. Contributor bounties will be reported monthly including the time and cost involved. Additionally all bounties will be listed in Dework.
    9. Maintain engagement with current long term contributors and aim to Increase contributor engagement with a focus on contributors with programming and additional language skills.
    10. Propose a Bug Bounty program to the AN DAO.

Team Information

The dTech team is fluid as additional contributing members may join from the community and others will leave. Some will be moved into a core contributor role as the need arises and dedication is demonstrated. All members shadow each other to ensure deliverables are met however, each initiative has a lead.
Current dTech team:

  • anson parker#4296 Core Member 3rd Party Integration lead
  • barukimang#3560 Core Member, MaS & Miragon lead
  • Carla78#9313 Core Member, Documentation lead
  • Spectra CV#6148 Core Member, Budget-Bounty-Admin lead
  • Brent Russell, BrĂ©nt#008 - Core Member, Customer Support lead
  • Camel Pavel#1004 Contributor - Spanish Support lead
  • aakansha#9163 Contributor
  • tony.stark#5145 Contributor

The current 5 core contributors have been a part of dTech since its inception in November 2021 and have completed 2 seasons via proposals with the ESD. Additionally, 3 long term contributors have joined over the course of the previous two seasons. dTech has met all deliverables under budget in its previous two seasons and has also provided more value beyond the deliverables listed in previous proposals.

dTech Season 0 End of Season Report
dTech Season 1 End of Season Report

Strategic Alignment

The Aragon dTech Guild will lead with user feedback and data for the product team but will follow supporting all products and services developed. Additionally, dTech will yield to processes and structures put in place by other guilds which have received funding from the AN DAO such as operations and financing.

  • Aragon dTech frees up engineers’ time which in the past was consumed on supporting users instead of developing.
  • Aragon supports business development initiatives prescribed by the DAO Experts program serving as technical engineers and advocates of its growth
  • Supporting technical operations of all teams that is not otherwise covered by an Aragon devops team.
  • Providing user feedback and possible industry tools to the product team for a better product fit.
  • Providing technical documentation and communication from our unique perspective as leaders in community engagement in Discord and support tickets.

Funding Information

This proposal aims to secure funding for operations totaling $363,000 in USDC and ANT token.

Approximate allocation of funds and recourses over the 8 months per initiative (Includes compensation):
Technical Support _________ $140,000 ___ 38.57%
Spanish Support__________ $6,000 ______ 1.65%
3rd Party Integrations______$17,000 _____ 4.68%
Miragon 3S ______________$27,000 _____ 7.44%
MAS ____________________$90,000 ___ 24.79%
Technical Documentation ___$50,000 ____ 13.77%
Administration ____________$8,000 _____ 2.20%
Quality Assurance _________$15,000 ____ 4.13%
Bug Bounty Program _______ $3,000 _____ 0.83%
Education _______________ $6,000 _____ 1.65%
Misc ___________________ $1,000 _____ 0.28%

Compensation

  • Total core Aragon dTech member compensation of $37500/month. Broken down to a yearly salary per dTech member is $90,000/yr. The math for this is ($37500 monthly compensation / 5 Core Contributors) * 12 Months = $90k
  • $7,000 monthly for bounties to be delivered to non-core members (Contributors and other community members)

For comparison, I am including Glassdoor salary estimates based on Charlotte, NC which has a cost of living below the US national average. These estimates include the value of employee benefits which a guild contributor will have to provide for themselves out of their compensation as they are essentially contractors.

A note on education: The allotted $6000 is be used over the length of the proposal for advanced technical training and education for dTech members surrounding governance tools and or Ethereum and L2 ecosystems. At the time of writing we have discussed with Blossom labs (creators of EVMCrispr, @sembrestels) possible technical training on creating Aragon add-ons and other advances technical training aimed at the Aragon platform. Educational spend will be approved by either @AlexClay or @Ricktik6 beforehand and not be the sole decision of dTech.

Fund disbursements for this proposal will be made by the finance guild and dTech will follow DAO finance procedures set forth by the finance guild. All unused funds will be rolled over into future approved dTech proposals or returned to the DAO at the end of the proposal time period.

In the event the finance guild is unable to provide compensation services (Currently there is no approved ongoing proposal by the finance guild) dTech will store the funds in a gnosis safe with 7 signers, 2 of them being @AlexClay and @Ricktik6.

5 Likes

In the spirit of deep democracy I would like to offer my first criticism of this proposal

It lacks a tokenomic model for long term sustainability.

Maybe this is something we could work on with the finance guild, maybe this is something we could address with product… but the need to resolve this remains, and as someone very involved in the proposal I can offer some explanations/excuses about why it’s not there, that said, I hope we are able to deliver some responses to this shortcoming over the course of this season

3 Likes

Hey All,

Thanks for the proposal. Just for transparency, what will the average and medium compensation be (trying level the budget for other proposals), also the time commitment for core members.

Excited to see MAS come together as well, how much is the time being split, see this as a very important initiative.

Many thanks,

Alex

2 Likes

What exactly is the difference between a contributor and a core contributor or are they the same?

Thanks for the proposal. Just for transparency, what will the average and medium compensation be (trying level the budget for other proposals), also the time commitment for core members

40+ hours per week or however long it takes to ensure the job is done and the obligations and deliverables in this proposal are met. Compensation is at min $1000 for contributors who have reoccurring bounties and at most $7500 for core contributors that take on a core role ie MaS, 3rd Party Integration. There may be other community members who which to contribute to a single bounty and leave also, that would obviously be the amount of the bounty. There are funds for an extra core contributor at $7500 per month if the need arises over the 8 months. If dTech does not have a need to add another core contributor, those funds will not be used as has happened in dTech’s season Zero and season 1.

2 Likes

What exactly is the difference between a contributor and a core contributor or are they the same?

Glad you asked because I have struggled to elegantly identify and define the two even though there are clear and distinct differences between the two:

  • Core Contributor:

Full time dedication. Has proven dependability. Does not have specific start and end to each task performed. Has major tasks assigned to them by the guild, Shadow other Core Contributors for resiliency, bounties are not part of their salary compensation, has more trust and admin access (Notion, Hubspot, deWork etc). Core contributors are responsible for making sure larger deliverables of the proposal are met.

  • Contributor:

Part time or less than part time attention, not yet shown dependability, compensated only by bounty funds, normally limited administrative access, performs specific tasks which normally have a start and end date or milestone. Responsible to complete deliverables only on single bounties.

Having this distinction is important. If the DAO has medical benefits in the future who receives them? What about DAO meetups, who goes? Short term disability? Who gets an aragon.org email address? What if a DAO becomes a government regulated entity in some fashion… who is a W2 employee vs 1099 contractor (IRS tax classification in the US). Having some structure in place from the start could help us solve these issues if they arise in the future.

2 Likes

Well put Brent. We used the term Flexible Contributor for our part-time contributors in the proposal and then we are sticking with Creators for the bounty holders.

@defidragon and I are working on clarifying documentation and processes for exactly this. We had something solid down, however, the needs of the DAO have changed so we had to back track a bit.

2 Likes

Would be nice to have a table or an explanation of who is doing what. This way if I have any questions on who the DRI for a specific task is I can just reference this proposal.

2 Likes

Would be nice to have a table or an explanation of who is doing what. This way if I have any questions on who the DRI for a specific task is I can just reference this proposal.

I don’t think this belongs in the proposal for two reasons:

1st, the proposal is not aimed at a single person for who is responsible for deliverables, all core contributors are responsible.

2nd, if John is a contributor who leaves the team and is replaced by Jane the proposal will no longer reflect the original Name-Task layout over an 8 month period. Additionally roles may change over time between Core Contributors for various reasons.

However, there is a place on the dTech Notion front page “Delegations” where we have this information and will continue to do so. A place that can be easily updated:
https://www.notion.so/aragonorg/Current-Delegations-structure-b5de957925c44f2993d46e1f85e7053c

Additionally, any changes to the current team will be reported on in monthly reports.

Great news does this mean all the core members are coming in to Aragon 100% then, if so fantastic news!

I see MAS as a core piece of this as well so would be great to understand the split of resources just in % terms as they are different streams of work, agree Dtech should be performing it.

1 Like

Just a heads up the Charter Aragon Governance Proposal Process S 5 (f) states

f. Process for Financial Proposals and/or Other Proposals : in sequential order:
i. Public deliberation phase: A post with the draft of the proposal is posted in the Aragon
forum for a minimum of 7 days and maximum of 14 days with the format:

  1. Title of Proposal (in the format “Financial Proposal:[title]”)

@brent to avoid the potential for a veto on a compliance technicality please update the title to the required format Financial Proposal: Aragon dtech Season 2

1 Like

@brent to avoid the potential for a veto on a compliance technicality please update the title to the required format Financial Proposal: Aragon dtech Season 2

Thank you @lee0007,
Noted and resolved.

Great news does this mean all the core members are coming in to Aragon 100% then, if so fantastic news!

I see MAS as a core piece of this as well so would be great to understand the split of resources just in % terms as they are different streams of work, agree Dtech should be performing it.

Yes they are all coming onboard… full time dedication and attention!

dTech is a team, we are all responsible for each of these deliverables as a team. While there is a lead on all initiatives, we are going to be shadowing each other on everything and sometimes doing more work on one deliverable than others. Notion already lists all of the “current delegations structure” and is linked to from the main dTech notion page. See me answer here also… Financial Proposal: Aragon dTech Season 2 - #9 by brent

I just noticed that you may need permission to view this… that will be updated to be included in a public area (pending some decisions about things being editable in a public view). Until then, please message me if you do not have access. Everyone at Aragon should be able to view

Totally understand your point for being one team, which is of course a good thing.

But I think that @Shawncubbedge point refers to accountability.

I am playing the devils advocate here:

If you are one team that has no tasks delegated, there is a chance that people will point to each other and things are not getting done (not saying this will happen, but it could).

In addition, without accountability to (specific/global) tasks, how are you going to manage “free-riding” (again not saying this will happen, but it could).

Every core contributor is paid equally, which is of course fine, but what if one is working 20 hours a week, and another core contributor is working 60 hours (to off-set the 20 hour working core contributor)?

Accountability to tasks is not fixed and can of course change during the season (due to priority chance or chance in the team), but a general overview for core members would be helpful

I think the proposal´s scope is quite broad (and therefore, the guild’s). Would be great to see it split into 2 streams: The core responsibilities, and how the squad needs resources to fulfill them (including current metrics), and the “experimental” responsibilities, allowing the DAO to better understand and evaluate the need for them, especially when it comes to future decisions of keep funding those initiatives or not.

Examples:

  • Spanish support - We are still unsure it even makes sense to have it, and although it says there is no team member assigned to only do that, it still means there will be time allocation for this, and therefore, resources will be used.
  • Miragon - an AWESOME initiative, that for sure needs to be well coordinated with Comms guild - BUT, what is the result here? Are we getting traffic to those videos? Are they reducing tickets? Are they generating leads?

An additional question: How will the team assess appropriate compensation for technical bounties? Do we have the expertise for this (not saying we don’t, just curious).

To make it clear, I am not judging the scope, if it is needed or not, but rather trying to bring more visibility to all the readers.

2 Likes

Well explained, thank you.

Great news!!

On the split, I think I can see it looking at the proposal from Season 1. It looks like 35% ($16,000) support + Languages and 65% ($29,000) on the other deliverables (MAS, integrations and Videos). Does this look reasonable for the split in resource?

I really think this is important to measure the success of the different main deliverables

  1. Support
  2. Translation
  3. Integrations
  4. MAS

and understand if there is to little or to much going to an overarching deliverable, I am less concerned on the breakdown of for example MAS but more is there enough allocated to make it a success.

3 Likes

Hey there!

Sorry for the late feedback, been super busy this week.

First of all, thanks to everyone who has contributed to the proposal.

Building on what Alex and Ramon have expressed as concerns and ideas. The initiatives in this proposal are quite distinct. It would be beneficial for the sustainability of both the proposal and the governance of the DAO to provide a breakdown of both budget and deliverables per initiative. This way, token holders can vote yes/no on funding each initiative instead of the entire bulky proposal. IMO this would decrease the chances of the whole proposal being voted down due to part of the proposal not being supported.

Taken just at face value, given the volume of support requests, the proposal implies a per ticket cost of Between $200-$600, with the typical range being $2-$50. Taking the upper bound of that range reasonable cost for support and documentation development would be something similar to the previous season at $16,000. There are clearly many more aspects that are not measured eg discord but there needs to be some sort of objective measurement.

The proposal offers a lot more, and a well-structured breakdown will help its fair evaluation. The Ops proposal can serve as a good example here. Could you please provide a breakdown of deliverables and budget (fixed core contributor compensation and anticipated bounties) across the following items:

  • Continued support and documentation in English
  • Translation of documentation and establishing support in Spanish.
  • Integrations
  • MAS
  • Walkthrough videos

It would also be important to indicate the points of contact within the relevant core teams with which dTech will coordinate across each stream.

Please also note that the requested budget equates to a team of between 5 and 9 full-time contributors [depending on compensation ranges and based on Glassdoor figures for the US], which will be a benchmark token-holders will certainly consider and map against the proposed scope.

3 Likes

Thanks for the feedback @Joan_Arus. I know it takes a lot to go through all the proposals that are out there and read all the comments so it is nice to see you dedicating some of your attention here. I’ll try to address some of your comments:

Taken just at face value, given the volume of support requests, the proposal implies a per ticket cost of Between $200-$600

I can see your concern with numbers like that. I am not sure how you came up with $200 looks like it assumes technical support would be the only thing dTech is doing however, it is only a fraction of what is on dTech’s plate in this proposal. There is also fixing broken Aragon products and maintaining them, Integrations - Researching, testing and liaising with third parties for integrations like Otoco, Wall ID, Rain Cards which is something we have been pushed to do. Documentation management, videography, and technical support… all listed in the proposal. Maybe listing out some of the accomplishments dTech has done would really help show that dTech is doing a lot more than technical support.

similar to the previous season at $16,000

Previous proposals had lower compensation to build trust and confidence and also did not include all of the additional things that are in this proposal.

Please also note that the requested budget equates to a team of between 5 and 9 full-time contributors [depending on compensation ranges and based on Glassdoor figures for the US], which will be a benchmark token-holders will certainly consider and map against the proposed scope.

Some Glassdoor estimates. (This is base + benefits which are provided in Glassdoor compensation estimates. These are yearly salaries, based on Charlotte, NC which is a good medium cost of living city in the US).

Core Member compensation in this proposal broken down to a yearly salary, for comparison is $90,000/yr per contractor. The math for this is ($37500 monthly compensation / 5 Core Contributors) * 12 Months = $90k

I will take some of the other things you have mentioned into consideration and will update the proposal with the rest of the team.

  • Spanish support - We are still unsure it even makes sense to have it, and although it says there is no team member assigned to only do that, it still means there will be time allocation for this, and therefore, resources will be used.

We had many very public discussions about this, discussions with those that it effects and should have input, 3 public deep democracy debates for anyone and everyone in the community and more discussions for the last two months including the dTech team, Shawn, fMurphy, Jessica Smith, and more. Support in Spanish does not require more resources as there are 3 people on the dTech team who speak fluent Spanish (Anson, Brent, and Camel) who can provide primarily support in English… and also Spanish. The Spanish initiative has stopped there with dTech and now sits with comms and community to push for Spanish further.

  • Miragon - an AWESOME initiative, that for sure needs to be well coordinated with Comms guild - BUT, what is the result here? Are we getting traffic to those videos? Are they reducing tickets? Are they generating leads?
    This has been coordinated with comms. Getting traffic to them is being coordinated also. This part has not been left out.

Maybe the proposal could make some of this more clear @ramon.

2 Likes